Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vive la difference - chicos y chicas

The woman walks into the bedroom and the man is stroking his tablet (steady). It is Boxing Day and the woman is wondering if she can get away with wearing the same dress she wore on Christmas day, to a Boxing Day dinner. She likes the dress but it now smells faintly of roast turkey.  She says, but, maybe nobody will notice as we’ll be surrounded by more roast dinner anyway? The man glances up briefly and makes a neutral, acknowledging, ‘hmm’.

The woman keeps on gently narrating until the man says, look, can you get to the point, I’m reading. The woman says, there doesn’t have to be a point – this is the way women walk in and out of rooms to each other, being each other’s flexible audience, offering the soothing acceptance that comes with the tennis game of no-pressure chat, that doesn’t need to go anywhere fast.

The man says, aye, but you’ve hit the ball over the net and are now glaring into the sunshine, wondering where it’s gone. Yes, laughs the woman. She has been here before. The man goes back to his tablet, reading aloud, When Kaiser’s Europe invaded France….

The woman goes off to have a shower, content that he is engrossed. She enjoys washing her hair and not being offended. She enjoys the laid-backness of the morning.  Downstairs the boy child and the girl child sit in new Christmas dressing gowns watching Mickey Mouse Mouse-keteers, unaware that when they grow up they will have many Kaiser’s Europe versus Chat-for-the-sake-of-connecting chats. No one will win, and no one needs to either.

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